Your baby takes up more and more space in your belly and may not be able to move as much due to space limitations (good thing there’s a change of habitation due in the not too distant future!). While their eyes are wide open, their retinas are still virtually inactive. PS your little one already has eyelashes! Baby’s vision will mature enough in a few weeks to notice changes in light through the lining of your stomach. And at birth, they will have imperfect vision but will still see well enough to distinguish your face and see objects placed 20-25 cm from their eyes.
Kicks and heartbeats let you know that your child is very much present. Unfortunately, their presence is known by them pressing on your lungs and possibly making your feet and hands swell. Perhaps your favourite shoes don’t fit right now. And you can hardly get the ring you wanted to wear over your fingertip. Ahh, the joys of water retention. Because there are so many more fluids circulating in your body, it may collect in your hands and legs by the end of the day. Especially true if you’ve been on your feet all day and not had much opportunity to put your feet up. Normally the swelling disappears again overnight. If the swelling remains or increases suddenly, inform your doctor so the possibility of pre-eclampsia can be ruled out.
From the beginning of your pregnancy to now, your blood volume has increased by about 1½ litres. This ensures proper blood flow to the placenta. However, while plasma volume increases by about half, red blood cells only increase by around 30%. Drink plenty of water to support your total blood volume, and eat foods rich in iron to support your red blood cells. Everything should even itself right out after your baby is born.
Are you finding that your legs feel sore or you think you might be developing varicose veins? Normal blood flow from your legs back to your heart are controlled with the help of one-way valves. Varicose veins can occur when these valves fail to close properly, causing blood to pool in the superficial veins. During pregnancy, this may be happening due to the natural increase in blood volume thanks to hormonal changes and growth of the uterus. Wearing compression stockings may help ease the pain. So can putting your feet up as often as possible. Finally, try and go for a brisk walk every day. If the pain gets worse, talk to your healthcare professional.